Ajax chief reveals why they were pushed to sell Lisandro Martinez to Manchester United
While speaking in an interview with Algemeen Dagblad (h/t Manchester Evening News), Ajax Amsterdam chief Gerry Hamstra has revealed that despite making several attempts to convince Lisandro Martinez to stay at the club, they were unsuccessful in stopping him from joining Manchester United.
Martinez moved from Ajax last month after the two clubs came to an agreement on £46.8million, rising to £55.3m in potential bonuses for the versatile defender.
For a long time, the Argentine was linked with Arsenal before Erik ten Hag swooped in to sign his ex-star. The Red Devils eventually came out trumps.
Hamstra disclosed that the Eredivisie champions were determined to keep hold of one of their top players. They had numerous conversations with the 24-year-old in an effort to convince him to stay, but they were unable to match his desire to compete at the highest level of the game.
The Ajax chief stated that after the defender’s growing desire to join Manchester United was realised, the Dutch team accepted their defeat and decided to transfer him to Old Trafford.
“We had a conversation again after his vacation. In it, Lisandro clearly indicated that he still wanted to take the step. It became increasingly clear that a longer stay was no longer feasible because we are simply not at the top of the food chain,”
Hamstra also revealed that after the player communicated how big the opportunity was for him, they allowed him to leave. It is good to see that the Dutch giants took their star’s views into account as well.
“So, if you want to take that next step, you actually have to keep these kind of players. Lisandro has developed a lot with us for three years, has become champion three times and now felt this step was the chance of a lifetime. He indicated that. We also understood that.”
Martinez has been one of Erik ten Hag’s most crucial players during their time with the Eredivisie champions and is one of the top players in the Amsterdam club in recent years. It is therefore not surprising that the Dutch tactician wanted him at Old Trafford.
Martinez moved to Ajax from Defensa in 2019 and has improved season after season. For his achievements this season for the Eredivisie champions, the 24-year-old was even voted for “Ajax player of the year.”
Martinez is unique in that he can play a variety of positions on the football field, which is one of the things that really sets him apart. The Argentinean can play as a defensive midfielder, left defender, as well as centre-back.
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For Martinez and Erik ten Hag, the transfer to Old Trafford represents an opportunity of a lifetime. The fact that the Argentine defender made a personal effort to sign for our team shows how committed he is to our project. Together, they have a stronger chance of success, and it will be thrilling to see what they can do.